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Label Mix Interview - White Forest Inc.

Nina Label Mix

A label holding it down for the Italian underground.

By editorial


Though they now release music from an international roster of artists, the Rome-based label White Forest Inc. is known by many for pushing acts native to the Italian electronic music community. Co-founded by Luca and Lorenzo (AKA XHL UNIT), the label has released over 40 projects in its decade-plus run, a number of them by artists from their home country. White Forest’s mix for Nina explores all eras of the label’s history and features a diverse, high-quality blend of mind-bending music. Give it a listen, and read an interview with Lorenzo below.

Where are you based?

Lorenzo: Right now, two of us are based in Rome and the other half of the label is in Milan. However, White Forest started when all of us were living in Rome, so I guess we are Rome-based.

Can you describe your label mix?

In more than 10 years, we have collected around 43 or 44 releases, so it has been quite hard to select only one hour of music. I tried to include something from the early days back in 2013, something from the halfway mark, and of course, some of the latest releases. I rarely have the chance to listen to some of the older tracks we released over the years, and hearing them today was like a trip down memory lane.

What inspired you to start a label?

We didn't plan to be a label at first. We just wanted to be a collective that curated electronic music from the Roman/Italian scene. At the time, bedroom studios were a popular way for 20-year-olds to make music. We wanted to create a network for those musicians and eventually help them with artwork, distribution, promotion, etc., so we figured out that maybe we actually wanted to start a label.

Does your label have a sound or a mission?

For many years, our mission was to release only Italian projects because we wanted to support all the local scenes here in Italy. However, today we also release international artists. I guess nowadays we don't have a specific mission; we just want to release music we like.

Tell us about your scene(s).

Italy is quite bizarre. Back in the day, we had a great post-punk scene in Tuscany and a great post-industrial scene, especially in the northeast area. Rome has a huge hard techno and hardcore rap fanbase, but as White Forest, I think we don't belong to any of them. Actually, that's the reason why we started the label in the first place.

What's your A&R process?

We listen to demos, dig into SoundCloud and Bandcamp, and if we like something, we release it. It's as simple as that.

What labels do you look up to?

There are too many to name, to be honest. The first that come to mind are: Blackest Ever Black (such a shame it doesn't exist anymore), Dais Records, and Never Sleep. Of course, our inspiration back in the day were the major league guys of electronic music like Warp, Ninja Tune, Hyperdub, etc.

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